Family Of Women

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My Story

Wife and husband sitting in the garden

I have been in the Family of Women 36 years – and I have been married 35 years – and that is NOT a coincidence. My starter marriage lasted 3 years total. My mom made it to 25 years before divorcing my dad. I had no idea what it would take to have a lifetime marriage. These are some of the things I have learned in the Family of Women …

  • When I start talking about what he isn’t and pointing my finger at him, the women in my life ask me “what’s up with you?” as they can see those 4 fingers pointing back at me. They know that he has not changed a bit – but I am not my best self. I am in low self-esteem or feeling unsuccessful or sad or angry or hurt and need to take care of myself.
  • I have women to intervene – and be supportive – and tell me the truth. And that I can tell the truth to – without judgement. This is everything!
  • I have come to believe that he does not get up in the morning thinking up ways to p*ss me off. It just happens. We hurt each other sometimes even though we don’t mean to. I know he loves me and he knows I love him. We can make peace. Assume positive intent.
  • We do not express our love the same way. He shows me he loves me by doing things – he makes dinner, does laundry, takes out the garbage, and all sorts of things. I show him I love him with positive words and doing things for him. I used to underestimate the power of doing the dishes, loading the dishwasher, occasionally cooking. I don’t anymore.
  • We are on the same page about money. One of the meeting themes was about money in relationship. Together we read a book about money, discussed it, and realized that we didn’t feel the same. And we learned we are both impulse buyers. It helps so much that we each know what money means to the other, and can talk about money and our finances without it being emotional and difficult – most of the time!
  • Most years for our anniversary we go out for dinner. I bring along the book that the Justice of the Peace gave us at our wedding. We talk about the year that was, we remember our wedding and the reasons we got married. It keeps us grounded.
  • We meant it when we said “in sickness and in health until death do us part.” I’ve been sick a lot. He’s been sick sometimes. We are there for each other.
  • We promised each other we would not get a divorce. Our families are doubly connected as my mom and his dad were also married to each other. We promised we would not break the family. And we have admitted that sometimes that was the only thing that kept us together when it was hard.
  • I asked for help. I “knew” what I was supposed to be doing. I “knew” what needed to happen. I “knew” it wasn’t working. We went for marriage counselling. And we specifically chose a marriage counsellor who would help us come together not apart.

Without participating in the Family of Women, and taking every volunteer opportunity that came my way, I would not still be married – and mostly happily! Every leadership position taught me more about myself, how I work, where I’m hard on myself and others, and how to be a team player. I recommit every 6 months and join a meeting group because I know that without focusing on myself and my inner life every week, I cannot be my best self.

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